By Richard Ram
At our executive board's most recent meeting we reviewed the proposal for the JVR Energy Park, a massive 650-acre solar farm that would nearly surround the community of Jacumba Hot Springs, located just south of Interstate 8 along the border of the U.S. and Mexico in southeast San Diego County.
While we recognize the critical importance of building new clean power infrastructure, we cannot in good conscience recommend the approval of the project as proposed. In consideration of the immediate harm this project would do to surrounding sensitive habitats and a vital wildlife corridor already impacted by the newly-installed and enlarged Border Wall, as well as the negative impacts on the local community other than perfunctory cash payouts to specific local groups, and the fact that none of the power generated on-site at the JVR facility will supply the local community, our board voted unanimously to oppose this project.
To that end, we have submitted a letter opposing the JVR Energy project to each of the five San Diego County Board of Supervisors in advance of the board's scheduled vote this Wednesday, Aug. 18th. The project has already received the recommendation of the San Diego County Planning Commission on a 5 to 2 vote, though our club's co-founder and first president Tommy Hough, who now serves as a San Diego County Planning Commissioner, made a compelling conservation argument in voicing his opposition the project.
We urge you to take part in this public hearing and express your concerns as well. It begins at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Center. Click here for the meeting agenda. Item 1 is the noticed public hearing for the JVR Energy Park major use permit. Click here to submit an e-comment on Item 1.
As San Diego County commits to meeting its climate action goals, we must focus on how we achieve those goals. We cannot set the dangerous precedent of ignoring both environmental and community concerns when expanding our clean power infrastructure.
Photo by Tommy Hough
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